The 50 Best Garden Accessories - Lighting

From the patio to the potting shed, Kate Watson-Smyth weeds out the grooviest gear for your great outdoors

Saturday 05 July 2008 00:00

Belfast External Lamp

It’s all very well filling your garden with atmospheric candles and fairy lights, but there are timeswhen you just actually need to seewhere you are going orwhat you are doing. This retro lamp hangs on the wall and is perfectly functional; you could hang a couple of these on the outside of the house and create the atmosphere with the abovementioned fancies. Job done.

Where: Garden Trading (0845 608 4448

How much: £50

Fairy Lights

There’s nothing like a string of fairy lights in a garden to signal a party. The little twinkles add atmosphere to any garden, small or large, although be warned, you will need a lot more than you think to have any sort of impact. These come in strings of 100 LED warm white bulbs stretching to 10m, but remember you can’t hang them in straight lines, so aim for triple that at least for a decent effect. You will need to buy a starter plug and rectifier unit – you don’t need to know what that is, you just need to buy one.

Where: Lights4fun (0800 061 2532;

How much: £35

Hanging Glass Lights

These delicate glass baubles will look very pretty hanging from a tree or even in the window. Each one holds a single tea light and they come in either a simple round or teardrop shape. They are suspended from a spring, which means you can adjust it to the required length and although, individually, they don’t seem expensive, you probably will need a couple of sets if you are to create any kind of effect. Where: RKAlliston (0845 130 5577;

How much: from £5.75 single and £22 set of four

Organic Hurricane

I always feel there’s something scary about candles in gardens where there might be an unexpected gust of wind, but this one comes with a lid on which things safer. The frost-proof lamp is made from charcoal terracotta, with a frosted glass top, and gives the appearance of a gently glowing stone. More for ambience than actually seeing what you are doing, a group of three or five on a step or round the base of a flower bed would be very atmospheric.

Where: Panik Design (01908 307020;

How much: £15

Spike Spot

There are all sorts of rules to lighting your garden. You can use uplighters to highlight a lovely tree or spots for the pathways. The main thing is not to go for all of the options. These spots by Hunza will hide discreetly at the base of a tree or in a flower bed and throw the light upwards to showcase the plant and light the area around. They come in copper or stainless steel or can be powder coated in a range of other colours, like white, primrose or olive green.

Where: Moonlight Design (020-8925 8693;

How much: from £61

Joe 90 Lantern

Lots of garden lights look rather drab and useless during the day when they are not in use, but these have a rather sculptural flower effect that look almost like large poppy seed heads. They are very light so can be moved about at will and just need a tealight dropping in. Comes in apple green and string and is a metre tall, so will work in even the most rampant of flower beds.

Where: Garden Trading (0845 608444;

How much: £12.50

Globo Out E1

Earlsmann supply illuminated garden furniture and lighting that give a wonderful sculptural glow to your garden. The simplest of which are these glowing spheres, but you can also choose froma range of chairs and tables, all of which can go either inside or outside and if you don’t like anything on the site, you can commission your own project. These lights are made by the Italian company Slide.

Where: Earlsmann (01884 855320;

How much: eight sizes starting from £112 for 30cm

Garden Lights

Simple by name and simple by design, these spikes plant in the ground and you drop a tealight into the glass tube, which then stops it from going out. At less than a tenner each you can afford to dot several round the garden or clump them in one corner and their unobtrusive shape means they won’t look awful when abandoned in the flower bed during the day.

Where: Grand Illusions (01747 858300;

How much: £6.95 each

Soft Glow Solar Lights

Garden lighting can be tremendously expensive in comparison to the few months of the year that you might actually sit out there in the dark. This pack of two solar lights is cheap and cheerful and does give off a softer light than many of those available. These are handy for the odd impromptu party, but if you are going solar for ecological reasons, you will probably need to spend rather more than this to light your garden or balcony well.

Where: Homebase (0845 077 8888;

How much: £27.95

Solar Globes

The technology for solar lighting is improving all the time and many solar lights will now give up to eight hours illumination – long enough for most dinner parties. These globes will float on water, as well as sit on the ground, and change through a series of colours. Having said that it requires full, direct sunlight to charge, so don’t rely on it for your main source of light. Thecompany also sells a range of more sophisticated solar lights.

Where: Garden Items (0870 803 1506;

How much: £27.99 a pair

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